5 Victoria restaurants serving top-notch tasting menus

5 Victoria restaurants serving top-notch tasting menus

Tasting menus are quite the treat for any foodie, and if you’re not familiar with what they are, here’s a breakdown.

A tasting menu is a collection of several dishes that a restaurant curates and serves to its customers meant to showcase the chef’s artistry. They’re often ordered in their full course, which can include a starter, main course, and dessert. More often than not, items are often shared among the table. Tasting menus, especially in Victoria, take advantage of seasonal ingredients and produce too.

Essentially, when you’re looking at a tasting menu, you are putting yourself in the chef’s willing hands, so count on eating something unique and memorable.

In Victoria, there are some places that deal strictly with tasting menus, while others offer the option. So, in celebration of the tasting menu, here are a few places in Victoria you can try one. 

Saveur—658 Herald St. 

Step inside Saveur and you’re immediately met with the energy of a bustling open kitchen near the already buzzing Chinatown.

Chef Robert Cassels delivers French-inspired contemporary cuisine, with a focus on using in-season local ingredients wherever possible. The tasting menus reflect the time of year, as does the cocktail menu. Saveur is a fantastic place to feel fancy for a night—or every season. 

Saveur Restaurant
@saveurresto

The Courtney Room—619 Courtney St. 

The Courtney Room is as close to the best of both worlds as you can get, with an elegant upstairs dining room or a comfortable downstairs bistro. Plus, the kitchen’s ongoing relationship with local farmers allows fresh flavours from land and sea to inspire seasonal tasting menus driven by the best produce in the region.

Last spring, the Courtney Room offered a seven-course menu for $110 per guest and often offers special one-night-only dinner events. In November, World Wine Synergy hosted a five-course meal and wine pairing at The Courtney Room. 

Keep an eye out for more.

The Courtney Room
@thecourtneyroom

Agrius—732 Yates St. 

Agrius is a staple restaurant among foodies in Victoria. The details are well thought out from when you enter, to the ambiance, to the food. Its tasting menus are no different, and Agrius offers seasonal plates and local ingredients. You can order the tasting menu with a wine pairing for a reasonable $89 per person.

If you want an added bit of entertainment, Agrius’ open concept makes it easy to watch the chefs in action. 

Agrius Restaurant
@agriusrestaurant

Hanks *a restaurant—1001 Douglas St. 

At Hanks, you’re served by the chefs, who take pride in highlighting meat, seafood, and vegetables from farmers, fishermen, and foragers they work with directly. The tasting menu itself is constantly changing from week to week, so it could be foie gras one week, and beef cheek ragu the next. Every bite is a bittersweet goodbye.

From the outside, Hanks doesn’t look like much more than a dive bar. But once you’re in, you realize this is where food geeks rejoice. 

Hanks Restaurant
@hanksvic

Nowhere *a restaurant—1001 Douglas St.

Just around the corner is Hanks’ sister restaurant: Nowhere.

Here, you get multi-course tasting menus—and nothing but. Chefs get their hands on the best ingredients they can for a fresh and unique once-in-a-night menu. Apparently, the menu changes almost more frequently than Hanks’ does. 

Going to Nowhere, you must go with the flow, since the chefs only cook what’s on the tasting menu. That said, Nowhere will try its best to accommodate allergies (just make sure to email them your allergies prior to going). It’s $99 per person, and Nowhere also offers wine pairings. 

Nowhere Restaurant
@nowhererestaurant

Written by

Ryan Hook

Ryan Hook